Guest Post by Brittany Fisher
In recent decades, the number of single women buying homes has skyrocketed. Nearly 20 percent of homebuyers in the U.S. are single women. However, most of the home-buying advice offered online and by realtors does not cater to their specific financial situation. It can be hard to figure out where and how to move if you’re a single woman simply due to a lack of information. So, we have put together a list of tips that will guide you through the buying process.
Budget for Your Home
Your first step toward buying a home is to figure out how much home you can afford. Your mortgage payment should not exceed 28 percent of your gross monthly income, according to Money Under 30. However, you should also take into account any taxes and association fees you will have to pay. Some areas have higher taxes than others, which can constrict your budget quite a bit. You should also keep in mind that it is harder to qualify for a mortgage with only one income. You might even want to consider getting a mortgage broker if you’re having considerable difficulties. If possible, consider saving up for a considerable down payment, which can decrease your monthly payment and make it easier for you to get approved. You should also consider what loan type and average APR you can qualify for.
It is very important not to overspend on your home, especially when you are single. If you bite off more than you can chew, you can only rely on yourself to pay for it. In general, buy the house that fits your needs, not necessarily the most expensive one you can afford.
Buying a Home Is an Investment
Generally speaking, owning a home can be a key investment. If you buy the correct home and plan it out correctly, your house could be a major asset and put money into your pocket later down the line. To do this, however, you need to take into account the neighborhood and housing values in the area. If you buy a house on the wrong side of town, you probably cannot expect to make much off your home. However, if you purchase a home in an up-and-coming neighborhood, your house will probably increase in value over the years.
Handling a Mutually Owned Property
If you’re only recently single, the odds are that you’re sitting under a mutually owned house. Before you can even think about purchasing a new home, you need to deal with the one that you still own. This might be easy if your ex-partner wants to keep the house, but you do not. In this case, you can simply allow your ex-partner to remain in the home in exchange for other assets. Make sure that you take your make of the mortgage if this is the case. According to Total Mortgage, this will require your ex-partner applying for a new loan and a quitclaim deed. If neither of you wants the home, however, you will probably have to sell it and split the profit. This can take a while since both of you will have to agree on the selling price before a transaction is made. We recommend finding a realtor that is comfortable with working with both of you.
Moving can be difficult if you’re single. Use a high-quality checklist to help you keep on top of the planning and hire a moving crew if at all possible, especially if you have a lot of stuff. Also, plan on taking more time than you think you’ll need to pack and move in.
Buying a new house can be ripe with pitfalls, especially if you are a single woman. However, there is no need to fear! If you follow these easy steps, you’ll be well on your way.